Horizon Europe (2021 - 2027)

Pathways to Synergies

Last update: Jun 7, 2024 Last update: Jun 7, 2024


Location:EU 27EU 27
Contracting Authority Type:Development Institution
Budget: EUR 20,000,000
Award ceiling: N/A
Award floor: N/A
Sector:Science & Innovation, Research
Eligible applicants:Unrestricted / Unspecified
Eligible nationalities:Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, A ... See more Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Curaçao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dem. Rep. Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Commonwealth of, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Eswatini (Swaziland), Ethiopia, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, French Southern Territory, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, North Macedonia, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine / West Bank & Gaza, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, St. Pierre and Miquelon, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Wallis and Futuna, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Date posted: Dec 14, 2022

Attachments 16


Call Updates

Sep 28, 2023 5:38:50 PM

The call HORIZON-WIDERA-2023-ACCESS-04 "Pathways to Synergies" closed on 28/09/2023 at 05:00:00 pm (Brussels time).

33 proposals have been submitted.

Evaluation results are expected to be communicated in December 2023.


Apr 4, 2023 12:19:08 PM

The submission session is now available for: HORIZON-WIDERA-2023-ACCESS-04-01(HORIZON-CSA)

Mar 29, 2023 11:25:30 AM

Dear applicants, please note that the call for proposals "HORIZON-WIDERA-2023-ACCESS-04: Pathways to Synergies" is not open for submission yet, due to a technical incident. The call will open as soon as the IT issues are solved.

Pathways to Synergies


Programme: Horizon Europe Framework Programme (HORIZON)
Call: Pathways to Synergies (HORIZON-WIDERA-2023-ACCESS-04)
Type of action: HORIZON-CSA HORIZON Coordination and Support Actions
Type of MGA: HORIZON Action Grant Budget-Based [HORIZON-AG]
Deadline model: single-stage
Planned opening date: 28 March 2023
Deadline date: 28 September 2023 17:00:00 Brussels time

Topic description

Synergies between Horizon Europe and the cohesion policy programmes, mainly the European Fund for Regional Development (ERDF) but also INTERREG and the Resilience and Recovery Fund (RRF), are instrumental for widening countries to catch up in their R&I performance and to reduce the innovation divide in Europe. Although such synergies are already addressed in the Teaming and Excellence Hubs actions under this work programme these instruments do not capture the full range of possible synergies and need to be complemented by a dedicated scheme. The Draft COMMISSION NOTICE Synergies between Horizon Europe and ERDF [1]presents the new opportunities for achieving operational synergies between Horizon Europe and the ERDF, including for Seal of Excellence, transfer, cumulative funding, combined funding (Co-funded and Institutionalised Partnerships), Teaming, and upstream/downstream synergies. This pilot call offers opportunities to incentivise the concrete realisation of particularly promising sequential synergies in two different pathways either supporting the upstream synergy mode (a) or downstream synergy mode (b) where the former is focusing on human resources development and internationalisation and the latter on valorisation and upscaling of research results towards marketable solutions.

The following overall outcome is expected:

  • Improved and more systematic synergies between Horizon Europe and Horizon 2020, and ERDF, IPA (instrument for pre-accession assistance), RRF, INTERREG or similar funding instruments through internationalisation, valorisation and technology uptake;
  • Strengthened competitiveness of R&I actors in Widening countries;
  • Accelerated knowledge transfer and innovation cycle for beneficiaries from ERDF and Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe;
  • Strengthened innovation capacity and competitiveness of less R&I performing regions.

For actions opting for pathway a) on upstream synergies the following specific outcome is expected:

  • Joint internationalisation strategy for R&I;
  • Human resources development strategy;
  • Improved access to excellent European R&I networks and communities;
  • Increased competitiveness and reputation in applications for European and international research funding;
  • Overcoming locked-in effects for former mono-beneficiaries funded under ERDF;
  • Acquisition of new transferable skills for R&I staff notably in the fields of knowledge transfer, R&I management and communication;
  • Better use of R&I infrastructure funded under ERDF.

For actions opting for pathway b) on downstream synergies the following specific output is expected:

  • Valorisation of results generated in Horizon Europe or Horizon 2020 projects in a regional context;
  • Improved knowledge transfer and technology uptake in less R&I performing regions;
  • Exploitation and diffusion of R&I results into the market in line with national/regional smart specialisation priorities;
  • Preparation of pilots and demonstrators in the chosen R&I domain for funding under ERDF;
  • Improved intellectual asset management and technology uptake.

The purpose of this action is to provide support for additional efforts required for setting up the interfaces between two different funding systems where major barriers still occur due to the mismatches of regional versus European approach, consortium vs single beneficiary funding and Horizon thematic priorities vs national/regional smart specialisation. Consortia should decide at proposal level which of the two aforementioned pathways is applicable for their needs. This will also influence the composition of the applicant consortium and the choice of funded activities.

More specifically, consortia applying for funding under pathway a) should be composed of a core group of at least three different public or private research entities established in at least two different Widening countries that were beneficiaries from ERDF, RRF or similar investments for R&I including infrastructure in the current or previous programming period. These applicants should provide evidence for (e.g., contract numbers) and a short description of the investment. In addition to this core group other participants also from non-Widening countries may join if their roles are duly explained and justified e.g., by providing training, coaching, strategic advice, knowledge transfer, hosting staff secondments etc. as long as the EU contribution to these participants does not exceed 30% of the total EU contribution.

The main goal of the pathway a) is to move formerly single beneficiaries of regional funding programmes out of isolation via cross-border collaboration and to prepare them for successful participation in Horizon Europe calls by strengthening their competitiveness by means of a customised bunch of activities. Therefore, proposals should present a coherent and strategically convincing package of activities with a particular focus on internationalisation strategies and human resources development. The latter may include training and coaching on non-scientific skills such as management of international R&I projects, knowledge transfer and science communication. HR capacity building may be complemented by suitable study visits and short-term secondments to partners. Communication activities including social media should contribute to raising the reputation and visibility of the members of the core group. This may include advertising their technical infrastructure (funded under ERDF) to potential partners in future competitive calls. Early-stage co-operation with NCP organisations is strongly encouraged.

Consortia applying for funding under pathway b) on downstream synergies should be members of a consortium of one or two completed or ongoing projects (in the same domain) RIA(s) funded under Horizon Europe or Horizon 2020 that has already generated validated (e.g., evidenced by approved deliverables, final or periodic reports, peer reviewed publications) research results to be valorised by support from ERDF, IPA, RFF funds or EIC financial instruments. The Horizon consortium should not necessarily participate in its full extent and can be represented by a core group of participants benefitting from valorisation.

For both pathways, participants from non-Widening countries may join the consortium, e.g., for the purpose of knowledge transfer as long as the majority of participants are from Widening countries and EU contribution to widening participants is at least at the level of 70% of the total EU contribution. For the valorisation activities the consortium should identify at proposal stage up to three focus regions located in Widening countries where the implementation of downstream synergies actually should take place. Additional partners without contractual relationship especially from the focus regions may be associated, notably regional authorities in charge of managing the ERDF or similar funds and SMEs are especially encouraged and may serve as catalysts for the uptake of R&I results generated under Horizon. Activities, supported under this CSA may include identification and mapping of specific research results for valorisation generated in Horizon projects with a potential for valorisation, matchmaking between HE beneficiaries and ERDF project partners around regional/national S3 priorities, analysis on how existing Horizon project outputs and results can be exploited in line with the territorial needs described in the ERDF/RRF or similar programmes, workshops with management authorities and local business, specification of demonstrators and pilots, IPR management and technology uptake. Special attention should be paid to the preparation of applications to calls under regional programmes. Communication and dissemination activities should contribute to raising the reputation and visibility of EU funded activities in the focus regions. The funding is considered seed funding and no guarantee for the actual acquisition of synergetic funding needs to be given at the level of the proposal.

[1]C(2022) 4747 final, Brussels, 5.7.2022

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